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For Sama

1h 36m Documentary, Biography, War 2019

In the form of a love letter, this film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of uprising in Aleppo, Syria.

For Sama is an intimate feature documentary that takes the form of a letter from Waad al-Kateab, a 26-year old Syrian mother, to her daughter, Sama, recorded in the last days of the battle for Aleppo. Waad lives with Sama’s father, a doctor in the last surviving hospital in rebel-held Aleppo. Surrounded on all sides, bombarded daily by the Syrian regime and Russian air force, Waad fears they may be killed at any moment. So she crafts a filmed message to her one-year-old daughter to explain who her parents were, what they were fighting for and why Sama came into this world, a record for the young girl in case they don’t survive. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as she wrestles with the impossible choice, to flee the city and protect her daughter or fight for their freedom.

Nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2020 Academy Awards® and winner of multiple awards including the Grand Jury prize for Best Documentary and the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival, For Sama is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.


Waad Al-Kateab


Edward Watts


United Kingdom, Syria

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